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    The Tastes of 2009

    Survey predicts spicy, exotic and soothing flavors will be big hits for new products in the coming year.

    CHICAGO -- Don’t expect bland flavors in 2009, according to research firm Mintel, which recently released a report of the trendy flavors that will be used in new products next year.

    Product manufacturers will mix in exotic fruits and fresh, soothing flavors, with a touch of spice, the company stated.

    "Today's manufacturer is constantly looking for those tastes and aromas that stand out and capture shoppers' imagination," Mintel new product expert, Lynn Dornblaser, said in a statement. "By adding exotic fruits and unusual ingredients to everyday products, companies give people the opportunity to experiment and move out of their comfort zones without breaking the bank."

    There are seven flavors that will present themselves in 2009 and become heavy-hitters across the globe, the company stated. Those flavors cited by Mintel are:

    Persimmon -- A unique and exotic fruit that is poised to make a major splash, which is predicted to be blended with more common fruits.

    Starfruit -- An unusually shaped, distinctly flavored fruit that is catching on around the globe.

    Lavender -- The popular scent will move beyond the home and personal care categories into food and beverage next year. The ingredient can already be found in Lindt Chocolat Provence's Lemon-Lavender Dream chocolate in Germany, and can be paired with familiar ingredients to incorporate a naturally soothing, aromatic quality.

    Cactus -- Already a popular food flavor in Latin America, it can be found in products such as Nopalia Cactus Toasts in Mexico.

    Chimichurri -- A classic from Latin America, chimichurri is a sauce for grilled meats, known for its clean, clear flavor and is already building in popularity in the U.S.

    Peri-Peri -- A new source of heat, the African hot sauce is popular in Nando's restaurants in the UK.

    Masala -- This Indian-inspired flavor is an extension of the curry trend from several years ago. Lay's has already launched India's Magic Masala Crisps.

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